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Students splurge on tennis shoes

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Junior Giovanni Donio shows off just a few of his prized Jordans. He has been collecting shoes since his freshman year.

Junior Giovanni Donio shows off just a few of his prized Jordans. He has been collecting shoes since his freshman year.

Giovanni Donio

Giovanni Donio

Junior Giovanni Donio shows off just a few of his prized Jordans. He has been collecting shoes since his freshman year.

Stephanie Zuniga, Akins HS, Austin, Texas

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Sneaker boxes pile up to the ceiling with shoes that have never been used. Trading, selling and buying goes on at shoe conventions, which contributes highly to the sneaker head culture.

Prices for the hotest editions pairs range from to $300 to even $1,000. Sneakerheads start off building their collection off with classic vintage shoes from various brands that eventually can be worth multiple times the price they were worth when first bought.

Junior Giovanni Donio is one of the many shoe game enthusiasts.

“I’ve been collecting since I was a freshman, I started by buying used sneakers off my neighbors for $30 which were retro Jordans which are shoes Michael Jordan wore during his career,” Donio said.

Austin is a well-known city for its creativity and well known fashion trends. Austin malls aren’t fazed by the shoe game phenomena when crowds raid their mall doors for the latest release.

Jordans are well known for starting this craze of shoe fanatics with its continuous releases of vintage designs that were first introduced in the Michael Jordan era.

“The Jordan brand recreates the shoes he wore every year which creates hype, models are different each year,” Donio said.

The devotion for the sneaker culture phenomena dives deeper in when enthusiasts preserve the shoes and the original content to bring up its value and income.

“Older shoes with boxes and the wrapping paper and basically everything that came with the item are worth more” Donio said.

Unlike other hobbies, shoe collecting brings in the money. Sneakerheads are known for buying 10 pairs and reselling them online, raking in some serious cash.

“It’s like any other hobby, except in this hobby you get to wear what you have, some people get the shoes just to preserve them, people sit on 30 shoes never worn that are worth $300 a piece,” Donio said.

Sneakerhead culture is known to be spreading world wide. It is even venturing out of the country to places like China where many shoes are originally produced in the first place but wages are much lower.

“Shoe game doesn’t even stop at Jordans. You have Nike, Nike competitors. Reebok comes out with old school classics from old basketball players.”

Hype, exclusivity, and availability are what get the popularity of the shoes going along with the enthusiasts itching to snag a pair, he said.

“People go into shoe stores at seven in the morning when the mall opens and purchase raffle tickets ranging as high as $50, which only gives you a chance to buy the shoes. It doesn’t pay for the shoes, which makes shoes very exclusive,” Donio said.

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